Shocking new study shows for people 75 years old or older a popular drug taken for indigestion increases the chance of dementia a whopping 44%.
Researchers found that people aged 75 or older who regularly take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a group of drugs that includes Pantoloc Control and Zanprol, had an increased risk of the disease.
These drugs are usually prescribed for patients with heartburn, acid reflux or peptic ulcers.
The German study was based on the insurance data of 74,000 people over 75 from 2004 to 2011.
It identified 29,510 patients who developed dementia during the study period. But among the 2,950 of the total who regularly took PPIs, a greater proportion had dementia, giving them a 44 per cent increased risk compared with those who had not taken PPIs
This is not the first time a link between PPI’s and severe health conditions has been found.
Separate US research by Stanford University last year found a possible link between PPIs and heart attacks.
The scientists behind the study stress that while they have found significant correlation between PPI’s and dementia in older patients, they have not established an exact causation link.
Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “This study doesn’t tell us definitively that the drugs directly cause the condition. The next step will be to investigate the possible reasons for this link.”